Felipe Massa emphatically announced his comeback from injury by posting the fastest time on the first day of 2010 testing at Valencia.

The Ferrari driver ended the day 0.2s ahead of Pedro de la Rosa’s impressively quick Sauber, with Michael Schumacher showing everyone that his pace hasn’t deserted him after three seasons on the sidelines by taking third spot.

Even tough Massa had been provided with outings in 2007 and 2008 Ferraris to prove his fitness after recovering from his terrible Hungarian GP crash, his maiden outing in the Ferrari F10 was his first proper F1 appearance since his accident.

Massa was the fastest for much of the day, and only briefly headed by de la Rosa in the mid-afternoon.

Massa returned to the top, and set the fastest time of the day in the final 15 minutes of the session.

While de la Rosa’s times were very impressive, most eyes will turn to Schumacher’s maiden outing for Mercedes GP.

His team-mate Nico Rosberg was given the honour of debuting the new car in the morning session before the German was given the final 90 minutes of the day in the car.

In less than 20 laps, Schumacher lapped quicker than Rosberg, and he ended the day 1 place and 0.6s ahead his team-mate.

McLaren test driver Gary Paffet was the fifth-quickest driver ahead of Rubens Barrichello in the Williams – his car would prove the cause for the sole red flag when the Cosworth-powered car stopped on the track in the closing stages of the session.

Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi and Renault’s Robert Kubica (who we still think is driving last year’s car!) brought up the rear.

Felipe Massa Michael Schumacher Gary Paffet Nico Rosberg
Sébastien Buemi Rubens Barrichello Pedro de la Rosa Robert Kubica

Monday’s testing times:

1. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:12.574 (102 laps)
2. Pedro de la Rosa Sauber Ferrari 1:12.784 (74)
3. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:12.944 (40)
4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:13.543 (39)
5. Gary Paffet McLaren Mercedes 1:13.846 (86)
6. Rubens Barrichello Williams Cosworth 1:14.449 (75)
7. Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:14.762 (18)
8. Robert Kubica Renault 1:15.000 (68)

[Images via AUTOSPORT and ITV]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.